If you’re like us, you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of summertime. Warm breezes, lush flora and ample opportunities to spend time al fresco await you in the months to come. With its mild island climate and array of outdoor events and activities, Victoria, BC is the perfect choice for a quick trip to kick off your summer!

From jazz festivals and street markets to a Brazilian food and music festival, there are more than enough things to load up your itinerary on a weekend getaway. Better yet, bring dad along for Father’s Day weekend (psst, the big day is June 19) and treat the family to some much-needed R&R! Whatever your summer schedule entails, BC’s capital city has got something to fit the bill. To get your travel planning started, here are 10 things to do in Victoria this June!

1. Five Star Whale Watching tour – Now until December 31

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Don’t miss the chance to meet the region’s awe-inspiring transient (Bigg’s) killer orca whales, as well as minke, humpbacks, and other marine marvels on a Five Star whale watching tour! Glide through the waters of the Salish Sea on a sleek, speedy catamaran while the knowledgable naturalists onboard search for wildlife and give you valuable insights into these magnificent creatures. Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

2. Afternoon Tea at Pendray Teahouse – Now until October 15

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Less than 5 minutes walking from FRS Clipper’s Victoria terminal lands you at the Pendray Inn’s stunning, 1890 historic property. Treat yourself to their afternoon tea to have your fresh-baked-scone and eat it too with an enticing lineup of locally-made treats. With smoked salmon pinwheels, cucumber sandwiches, macarons, cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and more, you certainly won’t leave hungry! Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

3. Sidney Thursday Night Street Market – June 2 – September 1

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Spend a balmy Thursday evening strolling the streets of nearby Sidney, BC during their annual series of Street Markets! Check out booths from local vendors offering everything from baked goods and candy to jewelry and pottery, alongside a bevy of dining options from local food trucks. Find a one-of-a-kind souvenir from one of the artisan tents, grab some ripe summer berries from a produce booth and cap off your evening with a gluten-free mini pie courtesy of Bake My Day.

4. Hop On Hop Off City Tour – Now – December 31

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Soak in the sights and sounds of downtown Victoria and aboard a charming double-decker bus! This Victoria Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour offers the perfect way to pack in the highlights of BC’s capital city on your own schedule. The tour starts in front of the palatial Fairmont Empress Hotel, then winds its way around a variety of must-see spots including sprawling Beacon Hill Park, the quaint James Bay neighborhood, Craigdarroch Castle and lots more. Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

5. Oak Bay Tea Party – June 3 – 5

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Enjoy two days of merriment and local entertainment at the 57th annual Oak Bay Tea Party! Festivities kick off Saturday morning with a parade through town, ending at the seaside Willows Park. The celebrations continue with a lineup of live music, air show antics, local food vendors and even a bathtub race! End the weekend with a bang at the carnival-style Midway festival offering rides, games and fabulous prizes.

6. Carnavic – June 11

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Get a taste of Brazilian music, food, and fun with a night out at Carnavic! Fuel up on some tasty barbecued picanha steak, hit the dance floor to the sounds of Sinistros do Samba and DJ Pachanguero, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can enter the event’s costume contest! There are fun prizes in it for the winner, so your boldness won’t go unrewarded!

 7. Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival – June 17 – 19

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Follow the sounds of strumming banjos and thrumming upright bass to this year’s Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival! Catch shows from artists like Juno Award-winning duo Pharis and Jason Romero, plus lots of local favorites such as Country Squall, Old Paint and Slim Sandy. Tucked in the stunning Cowichan Valley, you’ll be located in the heart of Vancouver Island’s burgeoning wine scene as well as mere minutes away from hiking and cycling trails that wind past old-growth forests and tranquil lakes.

8. Celebrate Father’s Day – June 19

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Give dad an experience to remember with a day of exploration in Victoria! Does he have a taste for malted marvels? Toast to pops with a lineup of frothy suds on a tasting tour of the Victoria’s finest suds.  Is a day on water more his speed? Head out on whale watching adventure and seize the chance to meet the PNW’s most iconic marine inhabitants on a Five Star whale watching tour.  History buff? Catch a Hop-on Hop-off & Craigdarroch Castle tour to explore the historic palace and dive deep into the culture of BC’s capital city. Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

9. Ska and Reggae Festival – June 22-26

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Cruise over to Ship Point in the Inner Harbour for five full days of laid-back tunes at Victoria’s Ska and Reggae Festival. Whether it’s local favorites such as Victoria’s own Capital Collective or Three Houses Down hailing all the way from New Zealand, the good tunes keep coming every day of this lively downtown music fest. (Insider tip: Check back here to see when the festival announces this year’s workshop selection! Previous years have included attractions like documentary film premieres, panel discussions with features bands and other music-centric activities.)

10. Victoria International Jazz Festival – June 24 – July 3

Credit: @vicjazzsociety

Head downtown for a night of mellow bass, soothing vocals and bright horns at the Victoria International JazzFest! As the longest running multi-day professional music festival on Vancouver Island, JazzFest has been offering its devoted audience a broad scope of entertainment for 36 years running. Spread across eight venues around the downtown area, the festival features jazz cats both new and old. Get the party started with GoGo Penguin, or slow things down with a soulful performance from Malika Tirolien.

 

With this wide array of events and activities kicking off in June, it’s the perfect time to cruise up on the Victoria Clipper ferry for a weekend away! Stroll through outdoor markets, catch some stellar live music or take a quick trip to Brazil by way of dinner and dancing! With exciting cultural attractions taking place every week, Victoria is the perfect locale for fueling your early summer wanderlust.

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